If Donald Trump was right when he tweeted in 2012, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” then Beijing must be dedicated to the long con. On Thursday, the country’s national energy agency announced that they would invest $361 billion in renewable power generation by 2020.
China already generates more solar power than any other country, and in 2015 they spent over $100 billion on renewable energy, more than twice what the U.S. spent. As the world’s largest energy market, China has a lot to gain from cheap energy, and even more to gain from clean energy. The energy agency’s announcement follows the national observatory’s first-ever national red alert for severe smog. High levels of air pollution have been a source of criticism for the communist government, as the country continues to be the world’s top coal consumer and CO2 emitter.
China’s transition to renewables is slow. Even with the $361 billion pledge, Reuters reports, “renewables will still only account for just 15 percent of overall energy consumption by 2020... More than half of the nation’s installed power capacity will still be fueled by coal over the same period.” It isn’t just China, though: Only about a quarter of the Paris Climate Agreement’s $1 trillion renewable energy goal has been met.